The 200-300cc segment is set to become hotter. Hero has launched the new Karizma R and the ZMR. The styling has been updated extensively with both front and rear LED lamps. However, we have mixed feelings about the overtly stretched out cowl and the way the headlamps seem to sneer at you. Both versions get split seats, side stand indicator, semi-digital instruments and service indicator.
The power has been upped from 17.2PS to 19.2PS for the R and to 20PS for the ZMR. Peak torque has also gone up by 1.4Nm. However the engine remains unchanged in all other aspects i.e. a carburettor for the R and fuel injection for the ZMR. So the power increments are perhaps a result of better tuning. Both the bikes hit the 60kmph mark in a claimed 3.6 seconds, however we are yet to verify this claim.
The Karizma R and the ZMR have been priced competitively at Rs 85,559 and Rs 1,07,000 (ex-showroom Mumbai). The prices lie on either side of the Pulsar NS200. There isnâ€™t much difference in the R and the ZMR when it comes to features except for the rear disc brake in the latter. This makes the R an exciting and value for money proposition.
At this price point, it is sure to nibble away some of the sales of the Yamaha YZF-R15 and the Honda CBR150R. The Karizma cult is bound to spread to those particularly looking for a bike with a fairing ( if one can ignore the multiple headlights glaring occasionally). Bajaj is also working on a faired version of the NS200. The game, ladies and gentlemen, is on.